By Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times – – An Indian citizen who stalked a woman over a period of 18 months after she once served him in a shop in London has been jailed by the Isleworth Crown Court for a total of 29 months after he pleaded guilty, the police said on Thursday.
Rohit Sharma, 28, was sentenced to 22 months in jail for stalking, six months for harassment and one month failing to appear in court. The judge ordered that Sharma, an Indian citizen, be considered for deportation at the end of the sentence, Hindustan Times writes.
The police s aid Sharma began stalking his victim, who was aged in her 20s, after she served him in a shop in Wembley in November 2017. After that brief interaction, Sharma returned later that same day with his father and asked her to marry him.
Four days later, the victim changed jobs but Sharma found out where she worked and managed to obtain her phone number. His behaviour escalated and he bombarded the victim with multiple messages via phone, text and social media.
The victim reported Sharma to police and in February 2018 he was issued with a harassment warning. However, this did not deter him and his campaign of stalking and harassment continued, the police added.
This consisted of the victim receiving up to 40 calls a day and Sharma continually watching her at her place of work. In July 2018, Sharma was charged with harassment but after being bailed from court he continued to pursue his victim.
He failed to attend a court hearing in November 2018 and was circulated as wanted by police.
Sharma’s stalking continued persistently to such a point that the victim quit her job and moved away from the area in an attempt to get away from him.
However, this only seemed to fuel his campaign and he systematically began contacting people who knew the victim, trying to find out where she had gone. On April 16, 2019, Sharma was arrested by police after intelligence linked him to an address in Wembley.
In a statement, the victim said: “This whole experience has completely shattered my nerves, I have gone from being a confident young woman to constantly feeling scared and on edge. I have no desire to socialise or meet new people, which has really taken its toll and ruined the university experience I had always envisioned”.
“I cannot understand why this male became so obsessed with me. It is so unfair and completely undeserved. I just want him to realise what he has done and to know that he cannot do this to me or anyone else. I now want to move on knowing that he is locked away and cannot harm or hurt anyone else like he has done to me.
Detective constable Nicola Kerry of Scotland Yard, who led the investigation, said: “Stalking and harassment has a devastating impact on the lives of those targeted. There is intrusion into the victim’s life, and they are left to feel vulnerable, distressed and threatened”.
“Sharma was incessant in his pursuit of his victim. He would phone her up to 40 times a day and use around 15 different numbers to contact her, making it near impossible to block his calls, and would also get friends and relatives to contact her on his behalf”.
“The victim has been left devastated by Sharma’s actions and I can only hope that his imprisonment offers some form of respite for her. She has shown immense bravery in reporting him to police and supporting this court case.”